Another MVP performance from Leo helped Guild to beat Kru Esports in an overtime thriller which saw them qualify for the Masters 2 Copenhagen Knockout Stage.
Guild Esports triumphed over Kru Esports in a dramatic overtime thriller in the Group A Winners match of Masters 2 Copenhagen. They became the first group stage team to qualify for the Knockout Stage.
After their impressive win against OpTic Gaming in their previous match Guild had put themselves in striking distance of making it into bracket play at their first Masters event. However, to do that they had to go up against the equally impressive Kru roster, who had caused an upset of their own in their opening match against Loud. But given the vast difference in experience between the pair, there were still questions surrounding Guild's chances of qualification.
Guild Esports vs Kru Esports full match recap.
It was a fierce battle from the get go on Bind in Map 1, with Kru showcasing why it is their best map. With their star duelist Angelo "Keznit" Mori pulling off some ridiculous plays at times. Though Guild held a narrow 7 - 5 lead after the first half they could not seem to get past Kru's impressive defense. Which proved to be the defining factor as Kru managed to take Bind 14 - 12 in second-overtime. This gave them a well deserved lead in the series.
Fracture proved to be much less of a contest in Map 2 as the terrific trio of Leo "Leo" Jannesson, Saif "Sayf" Jibraeel, and Nikita "Trexx" Cherednickenko went to town on the LATAM team on their offense. Guild took a commanding 9 - 3 lead at halftime, a lead which continued to increase in the second half, with Kru struggling to find a way past them. This culminated in Guild winning the map 13 - 6 to tie the match at 1 - 1.
Guild clinch Knockout Stage berth with triple-overtime win on Icebox
With both teams' tournament prospects on the line in this match, it seemed fitting that it would head to Icebox for map 3. An arena that had proved to be favorable for both teams on Day 1 of the tournament. Kru managed to take control of Icebox early into proceedings with a 5 - 2 lead. But Guild started to grow into the map as they reduced the deficit to 7 - 5 by halftime.
From then on the match turned into a scrappy affair with neither team able to carve out a significant advantage. Which saw the map head into overtime. This back and forth affair continued into overtime, with Kru gaining the upper hand twice.
Yet when the going got tough for Guild, it was Russel "Russ" Mendes who proved to be the surprise hero for his team. Thanks to Russ' clutches in the first two rounds of overtime Guild were still within reach of victory. After two closely contested rounds in third-overtime, Guild finally managed to gain the upper hand on Kru as they took Icebox 16 - 14 to win the match 2 - 1. Booking Guild Esports' first ever berth into the Knockout Stage of a Masters tournament.
Leo pulls out second successive MVP performance
The overtime thrillers that took part on Bind and Icebox for maps 1 and 3 were at the forefront of this battle between experienced veterans and young blood. Neither team was able to hold a significant advantage over the other.
It was during this three map grudge match that we really got to see the best of Guild's players. Specifically the trio of Leo, Sayf, and Trexx, who were putting up very respectable numbers throughout the series. Between Sayf's impressive Chamber plays and Trexx's aggressive entry-fragging, Guild seemed to have a way of getting the kills when they needed them the most.
But there could only be one MVP for the match. And despite performances of the aforementioned duo, it was Leo who went on to claim that title. The young Swedish player was a dominant force in the series from start to finish.
Leo's highly aggressive initiator play saw him lead the lobby with a total of 71 kills across all three maps. A continuation of his equally effective performance against OpTic in Guild's first match.
These back-to-back MVP performances have undoubtedly furthered his reputation as being one of the best Initiators in the VCT.
Now that they are heading to the Knockout Stage there are bound to be more eyes fixed upon the young Swedish player, as well as on the rest of his team to see if they can make a deep run. Given how Guild Esports performed in their first two matches on LAN, they are truly a team to be feared.